Every West Ham fan had their worst fear reinstated earlier this week after it was reported that Chelsea was interested in Declan Rice. But would anyone be to blame if he left the club?
For starters, the links between these three commodities (Declan Rice, Chelsea, and West Ham) run deep. Rice was a member of the Blue’s Academy from 2006 – 2013, his best friend Mason Mount is an everyday starter for the club, oh and the rumor just gets flavor added to it because Chelsea’s current manager once was a starlet for the Hammers as well.
At this point in the season, it would be easy to just see this for what it is, a rumor. But when everyone’s favorite ITK, ExWHUemployee, assured the rumor was factual… that opens a whole new can of worries. Rice, like Luke Skywalker, was supposed to be the Hammer’s new hope, he couldn’t possibly leave… right?
So say that the rumors do actually pan out, and Deccers leaves West Ham this summer to cross-town rival Chelsea. Is anyone really to blame? Was it the board’s fault for sitting on an extension? Was it the managerial situation? Did he just want to go back to his boyhood club? Or is it no one’s fault at all, and just the way football is nowadays?
You could look at the board and blame them for going back and forth with Rice when he was trying to renew his contract last season, but realistically if he wanted out then would’ve been the time to do it. No, it is doubtful that it would be the board’s fault even though they are always easy to blame.
I think we can all agree that the managerial situation surrounding the Hammers has always been rocky and could easily impact someones decision-making process. However, I don’t think it would for Rice as he has always seemed to be more about the teammate aspect of the club over who is running it.
Realistically it most likely comes down to either that it was his boyhood club or that this is just how football is these days. Deccers has stated before that he and his family grew up supporting Chelsea and a chance to go back to where it all started would be enticing even if they let you go 7 years ago.
These days football isn’t like it used to be. You rarely see players stay at a club for the entirety of their careers let alone even just one contracted spell. Rice has given his all for this club and for himself rising from the ashes of the Academy and even changing positions with ease.
If he does leave this summer it will be a tough pill to swallow but there won’t be anyone to blame in the loss, it’s just how football is run. It would be a tough blow to the integrity of the starting XI and the money would need to be used wisely for replacements but this is life. He wouldn’t be moving on out of anger, just to the next thing to continue his career.
It’s important to remember that, and remember what he has helped do in his time here as well as this for now.. is just a rumor with a little bit of truth behind it. Nothing is set in stone until it is and I for one hope he stays because West Ham needs him more than ever at the moment. Stay tuned for more as I’m sure this will only grow with time off and the proximity to the window opening.